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By Crofton Podiatry
September 11, 2019
Category: Orthotics

While many of us can use our shoes and other footwear without support, some need a little extra.  Usually, this calls for something called an orthotic. Known generically as a shoe insert, an orthotic is more specialized and treats specific conditions that an ordinary store-bought item will not.

Conditions orthotics treat include:

  • High arches – supports foot arch to keep from overstretching and/or collapsing
  • Flat feet – strengthens the area, supports the foot, and helps with gait
  • Diabetes – can reduce foot stress to avoid foot ulcers, blisters
  • Plantar fasciitis – support area of the heel usually with cushioning
  • Bursitis – sensitive area of the foot can also be treated with cushioning
  • Arthritis – Usually a flexible orthotic will work best as it has more cushioning
  • Corrects balance and walking issues – help with proper foot placement and gait
  • Bunions – allows for a wider toe area relieving bunion irritation

Other conditions orthotics can treat include hammertoes, heel spurs, injuries to the foot and back pain.

There are two basic types of orthotics. They are:

  • Flexible – Made of a softer material to offer cushioning
  • Rigid – Made of a more solid and stronger material such as carbon fiber or plastic. Offers more support

Depending on the type of condition you are suffering from, an orthotic may only be part of the treatment. The best way to determine what works best is to see your podiatrist. They are professionally trained to diagnose and recognize issues that may or may not require an orthotic.

Your first step to treat many of the conditions above may be to use a store-bought shoe insert but if this doesn’t work, a custom made orthotic may be needed. One issue many people ignore is making sure they have properly fitting shoes before moving to an orthotic. Make sure your footwear fits first. Proper fitting footwear is always important for good foot health.

By Crofton Podiatry
March 27, 2019
Category: Diabetes
Tags: corns   calluses   bunions   flat feet   Diabetes   Hammertoes  

There are many causes for foot problems. One of the most serious, however, is diabetes. Today, there are approximately 100 million Americans with diabetes. World estimates run to 371 million with 187 that don’t know they do. Diabetes is a condition where there is too much blood glucose or blood sugar in your body. In order for our bodies to work properly, the glucose must get into our cells providing much needed energy. To help do so, insulin must be taken. Feet then need special care.

Too much glucose can damage our eyes, kidneys and nerves. Diabetes can cause strokes, heart disease and the need to surgically remove limbs, so it is important to take your insulin on a regular basis.

Risk factors for diabetes include:

  • High blood pressure. High blood pressure can damage your body’s ability to pump blood.
  • Obesity. Being overweight which many people are.
  • Family history. If your brothers, sisters or parent has type 2 diabetes.
  • Age. If you are 45 years old or older.
  • Lack of Exercise. Being active less than 3 days per week.

Foot problems associated with diabetes:

  • Corns. Increased layers of skin on your foot on the small toes or outside of the foot.
  • Calluses. Thickened skin between toes or at the widest part of your foot.
  • Bunions. Deformity of the big toe joint.
  • Flat feet. The lack of an arch in your foot.
  • Hammertoes. Deformity of the toes where they bend in at the middle joint.

Early signs of diabetes include:

  • Urination. An increased need to urinate.
  • Increased thirst. A constant desire to drink liquids.
  • Increased appetite. Constant hunger.
  • Exhaustion. Feeling unduly tired.
  • Vision problems. Blurred vision and difficulty seeing.
  • Weight loss. Losing weight unexpectedly.
  • Wounds. Cuts or bruises slow to heal.
  • Numbness. Peripheral neuropathy is a numb or tingling sensations in your limbs or feet

If you believe you may have diabetes or any other concerns with your feet, make an appointment with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll. He will assess your feet and find the appropriate treatments. Call Crofton Podiatry at (410) 721-4505, which provides services to Crofton, Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD areas. 

By Crofton Podiatry
September 05, 2018
Category: toe deformities
Tags: corns   bunions   Diabetes   Hammertoes   claw toe   curly toes  

If your toes look different from other people’s toes, there’s a good chance that you have a toe deformity. It can make you uncomfortable to take off your shoes or wear open-toed sandals. Read on to see what kind of toe deformity you might have – and to see if they can be helped.

Bunions and Tailor’s bunions – With this type of deformity, the big toe joint (or the small toe joint) is enlarged. Pressure on the big or small toe joints causes a bony spur to develop. You’ll notice a bump on the side of the joint, which can be painful if it is not cushioned in your shoes. Additionally, bunions can cause the big toes to point toward the other toes, rather than straight.

  • Treatment options include padding in the shoes, toe exercises, and in severe cases, surgery to set the bone straight and remove the bony spur.

Hammertoes – When shoes do not fit properly and the toes are cramped, toes can become bent. The muscles in the toes become tight and can eventually become rigid. Toes form a bent shape and can appear clenched, which is where the name of the deformity comes from. The unnatural shape can make it more likely for you to have pain from corns at the bent joint.

  • Help your toes by buying shoes with roomy toe boxes, using corn pads, and doing toe exercises to strengthen them and make them flexible.

Claw Toe – Certain diseases that damage nerves can cause foot muscles to weaken. This condition causes the toes to curl downward in a claw-like shape. When they are bent out of shape, the joints can become irritated and cause corns to develop.

  • Those with diabetes and alcoholic neuropathy should pay attention to the toes. Early detection is key to easier treatment. Toe exercises and splints can help to keep the toes in the proper shape.

Curly toes, underlapping, and overlapping toes – These deformities are usually present from birth and can be treated early as the foot develops.

  • Stretching, taping, and maybe even surgery can help to release the toes from the curled up shape.

Not all toe deformities are necessarily painful. However, they can cause long-term stress and side effects like corns. Exercising the toes can be very beneficial and can help reduce symptoms. If you need help improving your toe health and confidence, come to see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry. Make an appointment by calling (410) 721-4505. Our foot care team is ready to assist you and your family at our Crofton, MD office. We also serve the surrounding areas of Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD. 

By Crofton Podiatry
August 01, 2018
Category: Bunion

Got bunions? They’re not as fun as Funyuns, but they may make you tear up like onions. The bony growths that stick out from the big toe joint can cause you pain and discomfort. For some, it’s manageable, but for others, putting shoes on can be painful and some footwear can be impossible to fit into.

Where did your bunions come from?

A bunion is a deformity at the base of the big toe. The bone behind the big toe joint is unstable and it can shift up and away, causing the big toe to turn in towards the other smaller toes. The constant pressure on that joint area from wearing shoes can cause a bony growth to develop. When left unchecked, the bony growth can become so large that the foot shape changes. The top of the big toe moves from pointing forward to pointing at the other toes. Fitting into sandals or other structured shoes with smaller toe boxes will be difficult.

What other things could happen when you have bunions?

When left untreated, bunions can cause further complications for your feet. Additional foot problems can arise, leading to other areas of pain and/or discomfort for your feet. The following complications can arise if bunions become severe:

  • Toe deformities: hammertoes, mallet toes, and overlapping toes can all occur because of the misalignment of the big toe. The big toe can push the smaller toes into different positions, especially while wearing shoes – and the long-term effect is that the toes become stiff in those positions.
  • Bursitis: Chronic inflammation of fluid-filled sacs (bursa) that provide cushioning around joints. As the big toe joint is irritated by footwear rubbing against the area sticking out, the bursae become inflamed and cause you pain.
  • Ball of foot pain: Also called metatarsalgia, it occurs when there is chronic inflammation of the balls of the feet. The bunion issue can cause you to want to transfer pressure onto your other toes and the rest of the midfoot, away from the bunion. The balls of the feet experience strain from overuse.

So if you have bunions, take steps to reduce worsening symptoms, for it can lead to further complications. Try some at-home treatments for your bunions and wear shoes that won’t aggravate your bunion pain. If you have a severe bunion and need help treating it, make an appointment at our Crofton, MD office to see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll. At Crofton Podiatry, we will use the latest treatment options to assess and take care of your foot and ankle needs. Visit our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie areas.

 

As older loved ones continue to age, there are more and more things to worry about. From regular and more frequent doctor visits to keeping track of daily medications, seniors need a lot of support to continue to lead healthy lives.

Body parts also change and behave differently, including our skin, bones, joints, and muscles – and yes, even those parts of the feet. And that means that senior feet might need more attention, such as different footwear and some lifestyle changes.

Foot Wear

  • A good, comfortable, supportive pair of shoes could mean less foot and joint pain.
  • Shoes should match the environment in which they are used to prevent slips, trips, and falls. Use footwear with smooth outer soles on carpeted surfaces and use footwear with anti-slip grip outer soles on smooth, slippery surfaces.
  • Compression socks can help those who have problems with reduced circulation in the feet, from diabetes or other circulatory issues.

Foot Care

  • Inspect the feet daily. Foot problems can become harder to spot as senses begin to dull. Get into the habit of helping seniors check their feet for any changes in the skin, toenails, or foot structure (e.g. bunions, hammertoes).
  • Use softly padded mats around the house, wherever seniors stand for a long time, such as in front of the bathroom and kitchen sinks.
  • Install safety bars in bathrooms to prevent falls or trips getting in and out of the tub, or off the toilet.
  • Foot massagers or foot soak machines can help increase circulations in the feet and give relief for painful symptoms from overuse, such as plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis.
  • Continue to exercise and eat a nutritious diet to prevent problems and maintain foot health. Incorporate foods that are good for bones and soft tissues, like dairy (calcium), salmon (omega-3 fatty acids), and plenty of fruits and vegetables (vitamins and enzymes).

Senior feet need special care. Make an appointment at our Crofton, MD office to see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll. At Crofton Podiatry, we will use the latest treatment options to take care of your foot care needs. Our team is ready to assist you at our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie areas.




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2411 Crofton Lane, Suite 25
Crofton, MD 21114

Podiatrist - Crofton, Crofton Podiatry, 2411 Crofton Lane, Suite 25, Crofton MD, 21114 (410) 721-4505